Fantastic Lights

Fantastic Lights

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,…
-Robert Frost

The ability to light up the night makes fireflies, also called lightning bugs, genuinely fantastic. But did you know that firefly are neither flies nor bugs, they are actually beetles? If you grew up in the eastern United States, you probably spent more than one cool summer evening catching lightning bugs in the tall grass. What makes fireflies glow is bioluminescence, a complex chemical reaction. The reaction requires a chemical called luciferin and an enzyme called luciferase (remember in 2 Corinthians 11:14 Lucifer disguises himself as an “angel of light”). The reaction also requires a common molecule called ATP, (adenosine triphosphate), and oxygen. The firefly can turn his beacon on or off just by regulating the flow of oxygen.

Biological luminescence (which is different than phosphorescence) is not found solely in fireflies. In fact, many marine creatures utilize this type of light to hunt, find mates or protect themselves. Some shrimp even have colored filters! Harvard biologist, Jeanne Trombly, once estimated that as many as 75% of the animals who live in the ocean depths have luminescence.

So how does evolution explain this complex chemical reaction? It would have had to evolve simultaneously in hundreds or even thousands of different animals. Simply said, it cannot. Even Darwin identified bioluminescence as something that the theory of evolution could not explain. The existence of this same fantastic ability in many different animals points clearly to a common designer, God. “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’ God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Gen. 1:20-25 NASB).

Remember, God made the world and everything in it in six literal days, and you can believe it.

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